My colleague Ben Shapiro has already filled readers in on the continuing dominance of Fox News, which continued throughout 2013 and (thanks in large part to juggernaut Megyn Kelly) shows no signs of slowing down. The other news coming out of the yearly ratings, though, is that the slow death of CNN marches on. At the beginning of the year, and with much fanfare, Jeff Zucker was brought on to right CNN’s ship. The first-year result is a 15% drop in primetime ratings that were already dismal and a negligible increase of less than 1% in total day viewership.
Granted, MSNBC is only doing a little better and all three cable nets saw drops in viewership over last year — a presidential election year — but when you are already in the ratings cellar and have already been retooling for six months, sinking even further has to be seen as catastrophic.
Little Zucker has done, though, deserves success. Overall, the left-wing network has gone from just being biased to now being biased and dumb. If you are interested in serious news, daytime CNN has become wholly unnecessary (big news this week: anti-bacterial soap, local murders, Carnival cruise lines, and we’re now into day six of Santa’s skin color — but NOTHING on ObamaCare). Jake Tapper offers an hour-long island of respite of competence at 4pm, but then it’s all shattered by Wolf Blitzer’s left-wing outside voice, which ran out its welcome sometime in the mid-nineties.
As far as CNN’s primetime, the ratings collapse speaks for itself but goes well beyond that. Piers Morgan isn’t just ratings poison, his trash TV, Morton Downey Juniorism has made the anti-gun extremist the symbol of CNN’s ratings failure, political bias, and move towards shrill carnival barking.
As Shapiro notes, Zucker’s plan is to now move CNN away from its brand — news, which is great for those of us tired of CNN’s leftism disguised as objectivity — but if Zucker’s recent past is prologue, I’ll be writing this same article on this same day next year.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC